Naval Warfare Books

Book reviews

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Details of Destruction

Niestle, Axel

1998, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557506418
Hardcover, 160 pages

Type. Historical reference book
Pros. Very detailed and accurate
Cons. A few small bugs

This is one of the most anticipated researches into the fates of the German U-boats and perhaps the best work so far since the end of the war. Later this year the 4th volume of the Der U-Boot Krieg will cover the same subject and will probably also expand it, but only in German.

Over 100 boats have different fates than reported previously, most notably the new confirmed fate for U-869 that is the same as seen here on The book has 166 footnotes on U-boat fates.

This book has a very simple layout that's easy to read if you know the type of the boat you are missing (it has a table to translate numbers into types).

One very useful index is the one covering allied air force unit successes against u-boats, another deals with surface ships' successes. The book also contains very useful charts showing where, according to this book, the boats were lost. Another index shows where the boats were captured or surrendered at the end of the war.

One surprising thing about this book is that the number of U-boats with unknown fates actually increases as Niestle's research indicates that a number of "known" fates were in fact not attacks on U-boats.

For a single-volume English-language book on U-boat fates this is a must have. This book is one of the latest sources we rely on.

This book was submitted to for review purposes

Review written by GuĂ°mundur Helgason.

Published on 30 Aug 1998.

- We have errata information for this title. Check it out!

This title is highly recommended.

Return to our main review page.